8:Mindfulness and Conscious Eating

Eating is a central and important part of everyone’s life – a basic need that that we depend upon to essentially keep us alive. It is such a common and regular activity that we can quite often complete the ‘task’ of eating without thinking, on auto pilot. Eating or drinking as we go throughout the day, almost unconsciously, can become part of our daily routine. A bite of this, a piece of that, a slurp of the other, all without thought and usually whilst we’re busy or preoccupied with other tasks, thoughts and activities – sound familiar?

Well this way of eating became the norm for me, as of my daily life up until quite recently and which definitely had a massive effect on my ability to successfully lose weight and improve my health.

Fitting eating in to my busy lifestyle often meant that I did it whilst doing other activities, it made sense for me to try to combine ‘tasks’ or ‘multi task’ so I could use my time in the most effective way, or so I thought. For example, watching my favourite TV show or the news and having my tea on my lap; eating lunch at my desk and reading emails or a document etc – this again will probably sound familiar.

However the practice of eating and doing other things became more wide spread and I found that I’d progressed to eating a sandwich whilst making tea; picking the leftovers from the kids plates whilst washing the dishes; munching through a sharing sized packet of crisps whist watching a film; eating a huge bag of sweets whilst driving on long journeys… I could go on and on with the amount of ‘mindless’ eating that took place and at the end of the day I would genuinely have no idea of what I had actually eaten that day, as most of it was done without conscious thought.

This would continually thwart my eternal efforts to lose the lbs and would see me getting angry and frustrated at my lack of progress. I remember thinking on numerous occasions, ‘I don’t understand why I’m so big, I don’t eat that much’ or ‘I have been really good, I don’t understand why I’m not losing weight’.

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It was only when I actually started to examine my eating habits and relationship with food this time that I realised the extent of how much I actually ate without thinking and how common it had become in my daily life. I then realised that if I was ever going to achieve long term success with the weight that I was now losing, that I would need address this habit, as well as the others that I’ve mentioned in previous posts.

I approached this in a number of ways, the first was to begin to make a diary of all the food and drink that I had each day – trying where possible, to note this down at the time of eating, so that it wouldn’t be forgotten later. It’s amazing how quickly you can forget having a couple of biscuits with a brew or a slice of something, especially if its not something that you’ve previously planned for.

The second was to throw out all left over food straight away or to ask people to scrape their plates into the food bin after leaving the table. This now removed any temptation of eating anything left on a plate and meant that I didn’t have to worry about this anymore.

The third was to ‘eat consciously’. This may sound a bit odd, but I found when I looked further into this, that actually its a really common habit that many people have and you are more likely to eat far more when eating ‘unconsciously’, than when you eat in a planned and structured way. However with a few simple steps you can begin to correct this unhealthy trait – these include;

  • Planning meals in advance and eating in a structured way. As mentioned in my previous post, 4: Change your ‘Final Destination’ by Planning for Success, I now plan my meals for the week in a structured way to help me stay on track and trouble shoot any potential tricky situations in advance.
  • Eat when you are hungry. Sounds straight forwards but I can tell you that I am a grazer and pick and graze throughout the day if I can. I now question why I want to eat, as quite often it is not linked to hunger but something else, like boredom, nerves or even not drinking enough.
  • Eat in a designated place. So for me this meant that I now sit at the table, with my family where possible, to eat my meals.
  • Do nothing whilst eating – no reading, watching TV or making plans etc, whatever I was doing before is now off limits and I now focus entirely on enjoying my meal.
  • Savour the food you are eating.  Enjoy the taste, smell and texture of the food you are eating. Make sure that it’s not a cardboard TV dinner type rubbish that you would struggle to truly enjoy. Make mealtimes something to look forwards to!
  • Chew each mouthful 10 – 15 times before swallowing. This felt totally alien to me at first, as I found that one of my habits was to wolf food down super-fast, sometimes without even chewing it at all! Now chewing each mouthful for this amount of time before swallowing, has slowed my eating right down and gives me the opportunity to actually taste and enjoy the food I am eating.
  • Place your knife, folk or spoon down in-between each mouthful. I found that quite often in the past whilst I was eating I was cutting up my food and getting the next one ready to go, meaning that I was still distracted from what I was doing – eating – and also consuming my meal much faster. I now find that eating is a much more pleasant experience, feeling more relaxed, where as in the past it felt hurried and sometimes a little bit stressful.
  • Stop eating when you feel satisfied. I found that eating in this slower and much more controlled way, allowed my body to recognise when I was actually full and helped me to stop eating when I had eaten enough. This had been a particular problem for me in the past, as I would often eat so fast, (particularly when bingeing) that it didn’t register until I had eaten so much I could barely move.
  • Do this as often as you can to make it a habit! Sounds obvious but as I’ve mentioned before it takes up to six weeks of consistently doing something, before it becomes a habit. mindful eating

The fourth was to Plan for snacks in advance. Before I started to do this I would quite often graze without thought, continuously on bits and pieces throughout the day – whilst at work and in the evening when cooking or watching TV. I now take what I want to eat into work with me, like a couple of pieces of fruit and a cereal bar, along with my lunch and only eat this. I also put to one side the things I want to eat at night and will eat them whilst watching TV or even going to the Cinema, in a planned ‘conscious’ way. I do still sometimes eat the odd piece of ham or chicken whilst cooking if I’m hungry, but I feel I am aware of it now and able to control how much I consume. I also note everything I eat and will include these within my daily tally of food consumption.

By following these fairly simple steps I have managed to get a better handle on what and when I am eating and feel much happier as a result. We now quite often (when we’re all together) enjoy family meals at the table and I have started to enjoy cooking more adventurous foods that I enjoy the taste of. Eating is no longer a means to an end that is squeezed into my day, it is something to look forward too and enjoy the space that this new way of eating has created. I am also more aware of when I am sliding back into old habits like picking or grazing on random bits of food and feel able to stop and question myself on, ‘why’ I want to eat’ and ‘if’ I am actually hungry or if something else is at play.

Mindfulness is a really useful tool which I’ve not only used for helping me gain a better awareness and control of my eating, but in combating stress and other pressures that life can bring – which I will talk more about in a future post.

I hope you have found this post interesting, next time I will be looking at exercise and how beginning to conquer my fears around this helped me to scale mountains.

Have a good week

Much Love

Marie x

Previous posts

7: Putting Your Needs on the Menu

6: Start With Your End in Mind: Visualising what Success Would Look Like

5: Refill your Glass and Retune that Inner Voice

4: Change your ‘Final Destination’ by Planning for Success

3: What Lies Beneath: Understanding Reasons Behind Actions & Behaviours In My Relationship With Food

2: Begun is Half Done: – Taking That First Step Towards Changing Your Life

1: Introduction: My Re-Design For Life – Losing the Weight and Gaining a Life

 

 

 

6: Start With Your End in Mind: Visualising what Success Would Look Like

Knowing where your destination is in any journey is pretty standard stuff, however for me I found that I couldn’t see an end point or ‘visualise’ where I wanted to be at the end of the road.

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As I mentioned in previous posts, I had such a mountain to climb in terms of the volume of weight I had to lose, that I couldn’t face the reality and would quite often return to the sanctity of what I ‘knew’, even if it wasn’t what I wanted.

 

On closer inspection however, I found it went much deeper than that.

As part of my plan, strategy and arsenal of attack to combating my weight this time, I used a series of hypnosis CD’s & DVD’s to assist me. These ranged from topics on managing stress, (I’ll look at this more in the future), weight loss and even a psychological ‘gastric band’.

Even though they all had a slightly different focus, they generally worked by putting suggestions in my head about the sorts of foods (mainly healthier options) I would like to eat, stopping when I was full and most effectively and challenging for me, visualising success.

The CD would ease you into a relaxed state and ask you to think about what you would look like in the future in different scenarios. At dinner with friends, where you would be all dressed up looking lovely, happy smiling and eating lovely healthy food. It would ask you to feel how you might imagine feeling at that moment. What the smell and taste the food you were eating was and how good it would essentially feel to be you in that point in time.

Similarly it would ask you to ‘visualise’ yourself doing something you would like to do in the future. What it was, what you were wearing, who you were with, how you were feeling. It asked you to ‘visualise’ this image in bright vivid colours and to imagine it as often as you could throughout the day, as a way of instilling in you what you visibly wanted to achieve. Basically painting a picture of your future self with your mind.

I found that the hypnosis was really helpful in lots of ways, however there was one aspect that I really struggled to get my head around, which was of course what I would look and feel like thinner. For me this was totally unimaginable, I had spent the entirety of my adult life and the majority of my childhood being ‘obese’ or ‘morbidly Obese’, so I literally had nothing to draw from.

I looked at pictures of when I was a child or teenager and whilst I was thinner than I was now/almost 3 years ago, I wasn’t slim and was still overweight. This time, I really wanted to conquer my life long battle with the bulge, so I knew a half measure of being thinner than I was but still classed as obese, would not be that helpful in terms of a target or goal.

I started to listen to one particular CD every couple of days, which I felt best suited my needs. It only took 30 minutes and I could squeeze this into the most unexpected places. Like when I took my son to his guitar lessons, I had 30 minutes to spare, where I would usually wait in the car and look at Facebook or something similar. However I started to use this time to play my hypnosis CD, which fitted in perfectly.

It took a while but I literally invented a new person, probably borrowing a look or image off someone from TV and making it my own. They didn’t have a face for a while, as I couldn’t imagine what my face would look like, so this was generally unclear in my image, until I gained enough confidence to settle on something I thought might look right for me.

My image of something I really wanted to do at that time was actually walking in the woods, sometimes with my family and dog Evie, but mostly with my husband and Evie.

This was a bright a beautiful image of us walking over a hill, all smiling and I was wearing fitted jeans, a snug blue Barbour style jacket and long boots. This image was something I thoughts about as often as I could during those early days,  purely focusing on this as my goal and target.

As I mentioned in previous posts I had joined the slimming club and the weight had started to fall off, which felt fantastic. However this image was the thing that became my focus and goal, not really what the end scale reading would say.

Family Walk
A recent photo taken on one of our walks, overlooking Loch Ness

 

As I began to achieve these walks that I had envisioned, I began to feel and look like the person in my image, so I changed my goal.

journey 3My new goal was horse riding again after over 25 years, which when I first started this journey, was totally unimaginable.

I began to visualise me riding horses again and what it would feel like, how I would look and what it would smell like. For me this was the ultimate goal and achievement and one which I actually started to live for real earlier this year.

I now regularly ride, every other week and have started my new goal, which is go be good enough to go on a riding holiday, which I’m working towards and hope to achieve this next year. I also have a longer term goal of owning my own horse again in the future.

This goal is less about weight or size this time and more about lifestyle and time management. I’ve already started to map out a basic 5 year plan with my husband, to help reach this. But this goal is certainly something that will keep me focused and on track!

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If I am honest I still really haven’t fully decided what my final weight will definitely be other than within my recommended BMI range. My main focus continues to be what I am and will be doing in my life now and in the future.

I don’t use hypnosis so much these days but I do use visualisation as a tool to help me get where I’m going and would heartily recommend it to anyone thinking about making a life change, as its a very powerful and positive focus to have.

I hope you found this post interesting, please feel free to share your experiences I would love to hear about other people journeys too.

Much Love

Marie x

Previous Posts

5: Refill your Glass and Retune that Inner Voice

4: Change your ‘Final Destination’ by Planning for Success

3: What Lies Beneath: Understanding Reasons Behind Actions & Behaviours In My Relationship With Food

2: Begun is Half Done: – Taking That First Step Towards Changing Your Life

1: Introduction: My Re-Design For Life – Losing the Weight and Gaining a Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5: Refill your Glass and Retune that Inner Voice

4: Change your ‘Final Destination’ by Planning for Success

3: What Lies Beneath: Understanding Reasons Behind Actions & Behaviours In My Relationship With Food

2: Begun is Half Done: – Taking That First Step Towards Changing Your Life

1: Introduction: My Re-Design For Life – Losing the Weight and Gaining a Life

Almost everyone has a conscience to guide them, that little internal voice that questions our actions or thoughts which helps to steer us in the right direction.

Jiminy CricketA bit like Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, providing that moral compass on what is wrong or right or good or bad, healthy or unhealthy etc. Our conscience generally runs in the background of our sub conscious and is something that each of us hears and sometimes relies on, to help with those internal discussions or battles that everyone has but may not share.

Like, should I do that? Wear that? Attend that? Eat that? Say that? Etc. Everyday questions, queries and dilemmas that are usually quite harmless and not particularly life changing.

However at times this inner moral compass can become more of an inner critic, like the worst judge on a TV reality show. Like the Simon Cowal or Craig Revel Horwood types, this voice focuses in on and tells you about all the very worst parts or things about you and can quite quickly shake your confidence and self-esteem.

Why did you wear that? You look fat in that. You shouldn’t have done that, said that, ate that. You’re never going to succeed. Everyone thinks you’re going to fail again. Why are you even bothering, you know you can’t do it!

This voice focuses in on our inner fears and worries and in what we ‘perceive’ to be truths and can quite often drown out the positive voice altogether.

This is what happened to me in the past and sometimes it still does, then my husband picks me up on it and I have to squash that voice again!

Over many years of ‘failed’ attempts, my inner critic grew and grew until it was the only thing I could actually hear. My thoughts grew to be continually negative and like a magnet honed in on any mistakes or imperfections.

It got to a stage where I couldn’t see past whatever minor mistake or poor choice I had made and with the help of my ‘inner little friend’, these ‘incidents’ would be magnified in to huge issues that just seemed too big to overcome. Which would generally lead to a course of action, or over reaction, which would cause far more longer term ‘damage’ than the original slip up had.

For example, I regularly recall being ‘derailed’ by eating something that wasn’t part of my then diet and now eating plan. Even just one or two things, like having a take away curry and taking some nann bread for a change. Or deciding to have fish and chips as a ‘treat’ instead of having a baked potato, or deciding to have a couple of biscuits or a slice of cake with that coffee, would result in a torrent of inner negative thoughts. I basically beat myself up about ‘what I had done’.

This would not only take away any particular ‘treat’ and nice element from what I had eaten, it would overshadow anything I had achieved up to that point! I would believe all was lost and I had ruined everything. And essentially convince myself that I should throw in the towel in and give up. It was just too hard and I’d messed it up, I couldn’t take it back and my perfect (unrealistic) ‘plan’ was ruined.

Of course looking back at these thoughts and actions with a rational mind, I can see that they made no sense. Realistically how could eating a bit of nann bread or a slice of cake ruin your life or the real progress you had made so far?

The rational answer is it generally wouldn’t, unless you were having them all the time’, which thanks to my inner voice, I usually reverted too! A minor trip would usually ‘trigger’ an onslaught of binging and reverting back to my old unhealthy eating habits. Which would quickly undo all my hard work and land me back to square one, or further.

I played this perpetual game of snakes and ladders for many years, in fact I’ve been on some sort of a diet or eating program since the age of 14 and started at a weight not too far away from where I actually am now. I’ve literally seen myself see saw all the way up to being 14 & 1/2 stone heavier. And whilst really looking at my habits this time around realised if I were to achieve any kind of success, I would need to address that negativity, fire the inner critic and learn to be kinder to myself.

I started to address that inner negativity by focusing on a number of smaller achievable goals and celebrating them. Sounds simple but we quite often don’t recognise the good things that we do and we rarely celebrate them!

Initially these were weight related, but after a while they became more physical or personal achievements. Like undertaking a 20 mile cycle challenge, it had been over 20 years since being on a bicycle so this was a big achievement for me.

Blackisle Cycle Challenge 2016
I was delighted with achieving this 20 mile cycle early last year and whilst I wasn’t the fastest round it meant a great dealt to me as I hadn’t been able to ride a bycle in over 20 years.

Also buying a new outfit in a smaller size, or having a clear out of all the clothes that now are hanging off you. I love doing this, I have literally gotten rid of dozens of bags of clothes over the last few years and still have to every so often and it feels great!

Trying to look for the positive aspects of situations and using wee slips or mistakes as opportunities to learn how to avoid them in the future. For example, I know if I meet my friends for a coffee there will probably be biscuits or cakes involved, so I take along what I want to eat that is on my plan, so I can join in and it doesn’t knock my progress or confidence.

Conversely if I have had a bigger slip and have really deviated from my plan in a big way on one day, I draw a line under it and start again. I went to school for many years but it’s only just sunk in that there are actually seven days in a week and one bad day doesn’t mean a bad week!

People quite often say don’t look back but in this instance do! Look back at what you’ve achieved and how at any accomplishments you have gained along the way. The slimming club I attend give you awards when you achieve a mile stone, which I put up on my kitchen cupboard as reminders of where I am. I’ve also made a chart mapping my weight loss, with all my personal goals upon it. I made it a few months ago as I had hit a plateau for few weeks where I didn’t have any losses, which started to make me feel a bit anxious. Reflecting back on my achievements and having this to hand to see was quite powerful and gave me the boost I needed to stick at it and keep me on track. Since then I’ve lost another stone and am pretty close to my target weight.achievements

In a similar vein I also have that awful photo of me on my phone which I occasionally look at if I’m unhappy with a result one week and feel a bit down. It’s amazing how quick I start to feel better after seeing that! I also have nice pictures me at events or evenings out, when I’m maybe wearing a new dress or I’ve worn something pretty that I’ve liked to give me a boost. I also carry a laminated photo of me riding in my handbag to remind me of my journey and what I now have, should I start to waver. These small things really help to keep me buoyant when times get tough. I put on 2lbs this week which was unexpected, but it didn’t even phase me as I know next week it won’t be there and I now have faith that I’m still on track and everything is fine.

Acknowledge the nice things that people say about you, quite often in the past complements or nice comments made me feel uncomfortable and I would refute them or counter them with a negative comment. I think that this was because I didn’t feel like I deserved them or that I had such a negative image about myself I didn’t believe them. For example I remember in the past, someone commenting on a dress I wore to my husband’s 40th birthday party. The person complemented my dress saying it was a lovely style and colour and instead of enjoying the complement, I quickly replied with a negative comment about it clinging to my tummy which ruined the sentiment and made them feel awkward and me self-conscious. Where as at my recent birthday celebration a few people complemented my lovely new dress that I had recently bought. This time I took their comments at face value and even basked a little in them. Why not, it’s not against the law to feel good! I even replied that I really liked this dress when I saw it and I actually got it in the sale.

By regularly behaving in this way, these small adjustments to my perspective really started to turn things around for me in other areas of my life too. Instead of being upset or depressed about an unexpected challenge, for example at home with a repair or something with the kids, I feel I am now able to deal with the situation far more rationally and look at it from a different perspective. Usually by trying to find a solution rather than focusing in on who caused the problem or the problem itself.

I believe refilling my glass to the at least the half full line as made a big impact on us all and continues to do so, helping me and my family lead a better quality of life by focusing on the positive.

I hope you found this post interesting, until the next time good luck

Much Love

Marie x

1: Introduction: My Re-Design For Life – Losing the Weight and Gaining a Life

2: Begun is Half Done: – Taking That First Step Towards Changing Your Life

3: What Lies Beneath: Understanding Reasons Behind Actions & Behaviours In My Relationship With Food

4: Change your ‘Final Destination’ by Planning for Success

4: Change your ‘Final Destination’ by Planning for Success

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One of the most important things that I have learned on this journey, is to plan, plan and if in doubt plan some more… This may sound a bit obvious or simple, but its suprising and strangely common, how the simple and obvious can sometimes be overlooked.

In the past quite often I have started one of my various weight loss journeys with very little thought or preparation and have been continually surprised that things haven’t gone to plan…

Of course it should never have come as much of a surprise really, as on thinking about it, there was never a real plan in place, other than the desire to lose weight.

I would be all motivated and make snap decisions that I would ‘cut down on what I ate’ or ‘follow a certain diet’ (the cabbage soup one was the worst!), but I wouldn’t really think much beyond this.

Now I’m not speaking about the mental preparation that I and most people need to do before even thinking about starting a ‘diet’. Or even the longer term goal setting of where you would like to be in the end and what success would look like for me. As I mentioned in my second post , this was something that I was unable to face for a long time. (I’ll look at this more in a future post)

I’m talking about the fairly basic logistics of what I was trying to do on a day to day basis.

How was whatever diet or exercise regime I was doing at the time, fit in with my life? What was I was actually going to do, day to day, week to week or month to month to support this and what could throw a spanner in the works and get in way?

It seems so obvious looking back now, but these fairly basic fundamental ‘plans’ were almost always absent from my past attempts. And the very basic things that daily life involved, would very quickly derail me and see me abandoning all hope once again.

Simple things like;

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  • Shopping lists and what to buy, healthy eating on a budget can be expensive, so buying what you’ve always done + a few extra ‘healthy alternatives’ can soon add up and thwart plans. Particularly when 2 out of 3 of us didn’t eat veg or 90% of what you could call healthy!
  • Time to cook healthy meals – working, being a single parent to children with additional needs, then latterly an extended family and looking after animals all took time. Throwing a pizza in the oven, opening a jar of something or ordering a take away is way quicker and easier!
  • Going out for a meal with my kids/family, was always a challenge, they had a very limited diet so what & where would I eat???
  • Visiting a friend for coffee and a catch up was almost always fraught with hidden traps and temptations. Full fat milk, biscuits and home bakes, it would be rude not to…
  • Picnics and days out were logistical nightmares, particularly on a budget and with my family’s needs. How could I replace the time honoured tradition of sausage rolls, sandwiches, crisps and biscuits?
  • Traveling for work and eating off the ‘hoof’ was always a gamble, to which I would usually lose. Functions and buffets usually had very little in way of healthy options, so I would be ‘forced’ to eat what was on offer…

Basically anything that involved normal daily life was instantly a problem or challenge, resulting in me either not going out or ‘falling of the wagon’. (I’ll go into this more in future posts)

Even things like Christmas, birthdays and parties were very rarely thought through and could sometimes turn into things to dread, because I knew they would be my undoing.

I believe one the main reasons why I’ve experienced success this time, (apart from not going on a diet and more changing the way I see food) is through planning things out in advance. Having a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve (my short term goal), what might stop me from doing this and what I could do to to help prevent this.

I don’t know why it never dawned on me before, as meticulous planning was a big part of my life! I planned childcare for my kids so I could work and study. I planned my kids support needs and ensured that they had structure and order and everything they basically needed for them to be happy and healthy. I even laid plans for my animals! But not for this important aspect of my life. (I’ll cover thinking about you in the future)

Could you imagine setting of on a holiday abroad without your flight or hotel details or any pre-checks in place to see you have the right documentation, money, passport etc. For your clothes, just throwing anything in a suitcase and hoping for the best? Of course not, you could just ‘visualise’ the chaos that would take place. Similar to a ‘carry on camping’ sketch, you know that it would be a disaster.

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But this was how I had approached losing weight in the past, which unsuprisingly resulted in it being short lived.

My approach this time has been very different and has helped me to stay on course for over 2 years & 8 months now. I have succeeded in most of the life goals I set myself, with beginning to ride horses again, as well as being within touching distance from where I want to be with my ‘weight’ target. Now only 6lb away. (I’m so excited!!!)

One of the fundamental changes I’ve made this time is to put plans in place for all aspects of my life and develop a set of ‘tools’ to help me to do this. I call this my ‘support toolkit’.

My toolkit isn’t something that sits on a shelf in the garage, its more a compilation of practical steps, templates and actions, that are designed to help me navigate the often difficult route that my life can take.

Like the fairy lights on our local island walks, these tools light the way for me, helping me to find a safer route that protects my goal and see me through most difficult patches.

My ‘Toolkit’ generally consists of

  • Protected time to plan – sounds obvious, but as I explained before, this is something that was previously missing. Like most parents, life can be chaotic with lots to do, quite often resulting in not having time to even sit down before its time for us to head of to bed ourselves. This aspect changed, I now ‘ring-fence’ at least 1 hour a week, when I get to sit and plan my week ahead. Just 1 hour, doesn’t sound a lot but it makes a world of difference.
  • Using a weekly planner, I now map what meals I’m going to cook or buy if eating out, in advance. This usually gets taped to the fridge so my husband is in on the plan
  • I also write my shopping list based on the meals and my week ahead. That way I don’t get side tracked with the old ‘BOGOF’ deals that are usually things that I didn’t want and or had planned for. (Doesn’t stop the husband buying reduced cakes though…)
  • I now always check out cafes and places to eat in advance. Menus are usually available to see online so it gives me a chance to plan what I am going to have in advance or even decide where to eat in advance and choose a place that suits us all.
  • Get fussy, I used to be someone who never really made a fuss. I would eat pretty much everything without complaint and it would never of occurred to me to ask for things to be cooked the way I want them. I now ask for potatoes instead of chips, for sauces to be served on the side and for butter or fat to be omitted. Most places these days are only to happy to do this, so don’t be shy!
  • Teamwork, have get people on your team/side to support you, could be a friend, your parent, partner or child (if old enough). Someone who you can count on to not be judgemental and who will not try to sabotage your efforts!
  • Support from other people who are trying to slim is also a great source of support. The group I attend is a brilliant place for me to test my ideas on or vent to if I’m having a rough time. They usually have their own experience to draw from and are usually only to happy to give advice or share their tips with you.
  • When working away I always take a back up lunch and lots of fruit and low fat snacks to help see me through the day. This could be a packet of mugshot, which fits into my handbag, which only needs boiling water and most places have access to this. This means if I’m faced with a buffet of high fat or sugary foods, I can choose to eat something that I am happy with.weekly planner

These ‘tools’ or practical steps have really helped me to build healthy and sustainable habits this time, which fit in with my daily life. They have become the very infrastructure of our family life and I know for certain that I would have failed long ago if I hadn’t thought about things in advance and planned what I was going to do about them before they happened.

I will add a proviso though that even the best laid plans can go array for many reasons, so part of this is about being flexible, resilient and patient. Basically sometimes we need to give ourselves a break and not be so harsh. In the past one slip for me resulted in me totally losing my way and not finding it again for several weeks, months or sometimes years. Building myself a new safety net has helped to change this.

I’m aware that I’ve skimmed over a lot of things in this post, so I intend to look at some of the things that I have mentioned in more detail over the coming weeks. Next time I’ll be looking more at state of mind and how I changed my focus from the negative to the positive, which helped me to become more resilient to life’s knocks and proverbial slips.

I hope you have found this post interesting, please feel free to share your own experiences or let me know if you have any particular topics that you would like me to cover in the future.

Good Luck

Much Love

Marie x

Previous posts

3: What Lies Beneath: Understanding Reasons Behind Actions & Behaviours In My Relationship With Food

2: Begun is Half Done: – Taking That First Step Towards Changing Your Life

1: Introduction: My Re-Design For Life – Losing the Weight and Gaining a Life